Nationwide goes low-code to build new business savings app

The British building society wanted to launch a desktop app for its business savings customers quickly, and turned to the low-code platform OutSystems


Nationwide Building Society has been providing medium-to-large businesses with a savings facility to keep their cash secure for five years now, but those customers have never had an online facility to view and manage those savings, relying on telephone and post to date.

"Clearly in today's day and age, for medium-sized organisations, that isn't meeting their needs," Darren Bailey, head of product management at Nationwide told Computerworld.

As a result, the British building society turned to the low-code platform from the specialist vendor OutSystems to build an online desktop application quickly, creating a proof of concept in a matter of weeks.

The aim is to give business saving customers a web app which will look and feel a lot like Nationwide's personal banking app, where they can view their balance and transaction history, instruct payments and perform basic administrative tasks. There will be some specialised features too, such as the ability to give multiple approved people the ability to make payments from the same account.

Why low-code?

Low-code is a software development method where a vendor drastically simplifies the process of building an application by breaking it down into key building blocks instead of writing code.

Bailey said that Nationwide could have developed this application in-house along a more traditional development route, but as the building society is currently going through a major IT transformation, technical capacity was limited and it wanted to get something to market as quickly as possible.

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Nationwide, of course, assessed rival vendors – and although it wouldn't name names, Appian and Mendix spring to mind – but the fact that OutSystems had built solutions for other UK building societies, like Yorkshire and Principality, helped convince the company that it was the right partner for the project.

Once they had selected OutSystems, the two companies took a "pan-team approach" to the project, according to Bailey, involving members of the technology and change team and some IT architecture staff from Nationwide.

Bailey says that the architectural staff were "well versed" with low-code development, but "for my developers and testers this was a new opportunity for them. One thing that really appealed to us was the whole training support system they wrap around implementation."

Nationwide expects to launch its new digital business savings app early in 2020.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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